Oral Microflora: A Comparative Study in HIV and Normal Patients

Mahesh Chandra Hegde, Abhijit Kumar, Gopalkrishna Bhat, Suja Sreedharan

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The study was designed to compare the oral microbiota in normal and HIV-infected individuals. The study tries to establish a significant shift in oral microflora in HIV-infected patients. Antibiotic sensitivity testing was performed to establish any rise in resistance against the antibiotics. It was a two and half year prospective study conducted in a tertiary care centre. The study group consisted of eighty subjects divided into two groups of control and HIV. The age range for this group was 9-75 years. The mean age in this group was 39.7 years. The male:female ratio was 2.75:1. Tuberculosis was the most common opportunistic infection in patients with HIV infection. The most common commensal micro organism isolated was the Viridans streptococci in 60% followed by Streptococcus pneumoniae in 23.33%. HIV Group: The most common commensal micro organism isolated was the Viridans streptococci in 42%; this was followed by the Micrococci spp. in 22% cases. S. pneumoniae was isolated in 6% of cases. The colony count for Viridans streptococci showed a heavy growth in 55.56% of cases in controls whereas the same in HIV group was 62.5%. Micrococcus spp. was isolated from 11 subjects in HIV group while it was not isolated from the controls. 50% subjects in the HIV group showed a heavy growth of Klebsiella spp. whereas controls showed only moderate and scanty growth. In patients with CD4+ T cell count less than 50 cells/μl we found a heavy colonization of the oral cavity with Micrococcus spp., Acinetobacter and Klebsiella spp. Viridans streptococcus was not isolated in any of the patients with CD4+ T cell count less than 50 cells/μl. As CD4+ T cells counts improved to 51-100 cells/μl Viridans streptococcus colonies returned and 37.5% patients showed a heavy growth. Micrococcus spp. colonies were isolated till the CD4+ T cells improved up to 300 cells/μl. At counts > 300 cells/μl the oral microbiota became comparable to that of the controls. Many of the opportunistic infections in HIV are caused by commensal bacteria which are otherwise harmless in a normal individual. Our study is unique in that such a study of the oral commensals in HIV patients has never been reported. We found an increased colonization of the oral cavity by Micrococcus spp. which is a normal commensal of the skin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-132
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery

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